Synchronizing Crane Control System does double-duty with Liebherr cranes

With two state-of-the-art Liebherr mobile harbour cranes, Niedersachsen Ports is embarking on an expansion programme that will increase turnover at its seaports Brake and Emden. The new Liebherr cranes are equipped with new state-of-the-art control systems that not only allow for two cranes to be operated at one, they also ensure collision avoidance and precision, safety and accuracy.



Sycratronic® (Synchronizing Crane Control System) allows two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes to be operated simultaneously by one crane driver for improved speed, capacity and safety.

Another add-on feature is the Dynamic Anti-Collision System DACS®, controlling the simultaneous operation of crane motions, so ensuring best possible performance and preventing collision between the cranes and/or defined fixed obstacles. 

In line with Sycratronic® Liebherr has developed another innovative add-on feature for heavy lifts. The Vertical Line Finder is a control assistance feature which assists the operator in avoiding side pull of the load caused from the long distance between operator and load or asymmetric centres of gravity.

With Sycratronic® activated, heavier lifts are possible as — due to safety regulations — 100% capacity of both cranes can be used instead of just 75% with manual tandem lifts.Additionally, operation is much faster and safer compared with conventional tandem lifts as just one crane operator is needed to control both cranes, eliminating possible communication problems between the operators. Moreover, Sycratronic® makes operation easier as both machines are controlled like a single crane, avoiding overloads.


Litronic® is the central crane control and management system developed by Liebherr. It guarantees precision, safety and accurate crane operation using the most up-to-date software and hardware.

Modular and open system architecture allows quick implementation of new requirements or changes resulting from practical experience. Compatibility with other systems opens up unlimited application possibilities for diagnosis, operation and process data recording.

NIEDERSACHSEN PORTS ON COURSE FOR EXPANSION Within a short timeframe, Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG (NPorts) in Northern Germany ordered two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes (LHM).

In Brake, NPorts has been successfully using an LHM 500 for years. The company therefore decided to equip the Niedersachsenkai with the popular successor model, type LHM 550. The LHM 550 provides a maximum lifting capacity of 144 tonnes and an outreach of up to 54 metres. At maximum outreach the capacity is 40.9 tonnes.

Due to this second LHM in Brake, NPorts also offers high- capacity tandem lifts to its customers. In this regard, innovative technology from Liebherr plays a major role. Thanks to the installation of Sycratronic®, one crane operator can handle heavy loads of up to 284 tonnes. The new crane has started operation in May 2013. In Brake, NPorts mainly handles project cargo, heavy cargo and components for the wind power industry.

The NPorts branch in Emden was in need of a short delivery time. After the existing cranes had to be shut down at short notice, an alternative was urgently required. Liebherr was in the position to offer a delivery time of just 14 days ex-works for its latest model, type LHM 420. In early April, the new crane was delivered to Emden fully assembled. Only a few days after arrival, the new crane was ready for operation. “Because of the urgent need the procurement of the new mobile harbour crane was quite challenging for all parties involved. We are pleased that everything worked out very smoothly, including the contract negotiations, the challenging unload of the crane at the Südkai, the installation of the LHM 420 and the training of the crane operators in Emden,” said Dipl. Ing.Wilfried Schleusener, Project Manager Engineering, impressed by the professional collaboration.

The LHM 420 is equipped with two double winches and provides a maximum lifting capacity of 124 tonnes as well as a maximum outreach of 48 metres. At maximum outreach the capacity is 34.5 tonnes. Main tasks of the new machine include grab operation (SWL 75 tonnes), project cargo and breakbulk.

Both Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in Lower Saxony’s Emden and Brake are equipped with a powerful 670kW diesel engine. Thanks to innovative eco-technology the fuel consumption is between 25 and 35 litres per operating hour (depending on application).

Niedersachsen Ports

Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG is owner and operator of five seaports, seven island supply ports and three regional ports on the German North Sea Coast. The company’s head office is in Oldenburg. Niedersachsen Ports manages the port infrastructure of the large seaports in Lower Saxony via its branches in Brake, Emden, Cuxhaven and Wilhelmshaven. The Norden branch is in charge of the island supply ports for the East Frisian Islands. Hence NPorts is the single contact for several German ports. On the one hand, the ports of Nports are the foundation for manifold economic activities; on the other hand they connect the sea- and land-based transport. For that reason they represent essential links in the international supply chain.


The Liebherr Group comprises more than 130 companies in every continent of the world and employs a workforce of about 38,000 people. In the past few years the Liebherr Group has undergone dynamic development and in 2012, achieved a total consolidated turnover of €9.1 billion.

The Liebherr Group’s holding company is Liebherr- International AG in Bulle, Switzerland, which is entirely owned by members of the Liebherr family. The family business is currently being managed in the second generation by Dr. h.c. Isolde Liebherr and her brother Dr. h.c.Willi Liebherr. Sophie Albrecht, Jan Liebherr, Patricia Rüf and Stéfanie Wohlfarth have been actively involved in the management of individual divisions as representatives of the third generation since 2012 in order to help set the company’s course for the future.

The Liebherr-MCCtec GmbH, Nenzing (Austria) is one out of nine divisional control companies and co-ordinates all activities in the field of maritime cranes. The product range includes solutions for any kind of cargo handling in ports as well as in the shipping and offshore industry such as mobile harbour cranes, gantry cranes, ship cranes, offshore cranes and reachstackers. On the international building machinery market the division is offering a broad range of universal duty cycle crawler cranes, lift cranes as well as foundation equipment.

The Liebherr-MCCtec GmbH currently employs more than 3,500 employees worldwide and has four state-of-the-art production sites for maritime cranes in Killarney (Ireland), Nenzing (Austria), Sunderland (Great Britain) and Rostock (Germany). In addition, the maritime division operates 37 sales and service organizations.

Demag process cranes for automated store management 

— Cement industry relies on robust crane technology — Permanent use in 24/7 operation — Scanner use and transparent store management Terex Material Handling is further extending its position as supplier of automated storage systems for the cement industry: the company is equipping two stores with Demag process cranes and storage controllers. After commissioning, planned for the first quarter of 2014, the two crane stores in Colombia and Mongolia will run fully automatically in 24/7 operation.

Lutz Dowy, vice president of sales and product management at Terex Material Handling says: “With our automated crane installations, we offer complete solutions for storage area management in the cement industry. Our customers benefit from robust crane technology that, with the highest availability, places the materials into storage and safeguards the production processes.”

On behalf of FL Smidth A/S, one of the world’s leading suppliers of machines and systems for the cement industry, Terex Material Handling is supplying two Demag process cranes for the new construction of an additives store in Mongolia. The two identical crane installations, with a span of 15.5m, travel on a crane runway of approximately 78m in length. Equipped with a 4m3 powered clam-shell grab, the Demag process cranes place the base materials clay, iron ore, sand and gypsum into storage, sorted correctly by type. With the store management system also included in the scope of delivery, the operator will be able to use the cranes independently around the clock.

Following the modernization of a clinker store in its plant in Toluviejo, Colombia, the manufacturer Cementos Argos S.A. will use Demag process crane technology. The crane installation ensures the placement into storage, transport, mixing and timely provision of various clinker and additives. The installed and completely automated crane installation with 14t load capacity and 30m span also features scanner technology.A scanner installed on the crane bridge records the filling height of the materials in the storage area of approximately 2,900m2 every time the crane travels. From this data the store management computer creates a height profile and steers the grab of the crane exactly over the transfer points in a time-saving manner. The fill levels are also permanently measured using scanner technology and transparent store management is ensured.


Terex Corporation is a worldwide supplier of crane technology with Demag industrial cranes and crane components. The core competence of the Terex Material Handling business group lies in the development, design and production of technically sophisticated cranes, hoists and components and the provision of sales and services for these products. The business group manufactures in 16 countries on five continents and is present in more than 60 countries, reaching customers in more than 100 countries.

Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment. A core activity of Terex Corporation is the provision of reliable, customer-driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, shipping, transport, quarrying, mining, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. Terex reports in five business segments: Aerial Work Platforms; Construction; Cranes; Material Handling & Port Solutions; and Materials Processing Terex Financial Services offers a wide range of products and services to assist in the acquisition of Terex equipment. 
Ease of maintenance, safer operations — all by sensor optimization 

SIBRE Siegerland Bremsen GmbH is a medium-sized company that operates worldwide, writes Lutz Kramaschki, of SIBRE – Siegerland Bremsen GmbH. It has over 50 years of experience and, from the very beginning, has been involved in the development and production of industrial brake systems and drive components. Its customers are consultants, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and operators in heavy duty industries such as — but not limited to — ports, steel mills, mining and regenerative energies.

Right from the start, value was placed on technical innovation, the most modern manufacturing technology and high customer use. Production procedures are continuously supervised by a quality management system ISO 9001. The aim of the product development is an optimum combination of a top-quality product, the easiest use and market-driven price both for plant engineers and plant operators.

Brakes and drive components are developed by a team of highly qualified engineers, technicians and designers and are adapted to increasingly complex and powerful drives. With SIBRE, customers rely not only on decades of experience in brake production, but also on the most modern construction and manufacturing technologies. SIBRE works with modern, efficient construction 3D-software for the design layout of brakes and has its own high-quality testing and measuring lab.

The company as a system supplier has a worldwide presence, and runs branches in China, India, Spain, Italy and in USA.

In addition to new product development, among other things SIBRE has, in recent years, been focused on the optimization not only of mechanical systems, but also the sensors.

The SIBRE IBC-control system for belt conveyors is ideally suited to ensure essential safety functions and control of brake cascades. For instance, well-defined brake cascades can be installed at transfer stations of independent belt conveyor systems to avoid piling of transported material during emergency stops and clamping. According to requirements, linear, progressive or degressive deceleration curves can be defined with the IBC-control system.

Soft braking in the braking operation prevents tension stress peaks in the conveyor belt. Identical deceleration curves and braking times can be achieved even under varying load conditions and even with different brake systems in the plant.

IBC-control systems for electro-hydraulic drum and disc brakes consist of a programmable frequency inverter with function modules (software) and an input unit (pedal, internal or external parametrization interface, process control module with measuring sensor). A frequency change will be generated at the output of the frequency inverter. This frequency change is used for the activation of an electro-hydraulic thruster so that its hydraulic force can be varied. The resultant actuating force of the electro-hydraulic thruster is effective opposite to the braking force of the braking system so that this relation forms the basis for the control of the braking operation.

IBC-control systems are qualified for subsequent installation and therefore are predestined for the modernization of machines and drive systems. They are inexpensive and provide flexible use through a wide range of permitted input voltages. Of course, all SIBRE products designed for open-cast mining conform to all provisions of dust ignition proof.

The topic of sensor optimization also covers the development of monitoring systems for brakes. The status monitoring system SMS for the SIBRE USB,TEXU and SHI brakes uses monitoring switches, contacts, temperature sensors and strain-gage technology to permanently read the actual status of the brake. These permanently available status messages on conditions of the brake systems reduce the maintenance costs, optimize maintenance planning, increase process reliability and machine uptime and diminish the danger of unscheduled machine breakdown.

To be among the above-mentioned new product developments, the ABC-V drum coupling optimally is in line with the distribution channel and the one-stop-supplier-strategy of SIBRE. The drum coupling is completely produced in the German headquarters.

In 2010, the ABC-V was introduced to the market with compatible fitting sizes especially designed for the transfer of medium and high torques in crane hoisting gear, conveyance, stackers, ship unloaders, container cranes as well as in heavy, rough smelting works. Torques of up to 1,025kNm and radial loads of up to 550kN can be transferred with a maximum coupling diameter of 1,025mm which provides a high overload safety.

High-quality coated forged steel guarantee durability, wear resistance and high material strength. Together with the arched drum roll (hardened rolling bearing steel) it is possible for the hub to oscillate relative to the housing. This allows for a compensation of angular displacement up to ±1° and an axial shifting from ±4mm up to ±10mm.

SIBRE considers it essential to look at the life cycle costs: over the life span of drive components; maintenance can be higher than the initial purchasing costs. This is why SIBRE pays particularly close attention to designing and manufacturing lasting products that require the lowest possible maintenance and that are easy to maintain.

Smart load SENSOR by Sensor Technology 

A smart load sensor developed in the UK by Sensor Technology provides all the information needed to optimize efficiency and increase profitability of a wide range of industrial operations.

A new development, which was launched at the Hannover Messe exhibition which took place in April, allows weighing processes to be fully integrated with handling operations. All live data is captured in real time and can be transferred to a database, stored, totalized and analysed.

For instance, you may need to know how much material you have transported, or you could be handling two or more materials simultaneously which need to be accounted individually; or if working for multiple customers at the same time you can bill each appropriately.

The development, called LoadSense, is an intelligent load sensor that can be integrated with a crane hook, fork lift or other handling device. It has an on-board single-chip computer for recording, analysing and archiving readings, and wireless communications capability which can transfer data in real time to a host computer.

Designed and manufactured by Banbury-based Sensor Technology, internal batteries make LoadSense’s operation completely autonomous. As such it can be deployed with minimal disruption to operations, and will automatically begin transmitting data. No special training is required to install or operate the unit.

LoadSense is built around an intelligent load sensor, a hand-held display and a receiver. The load sensor is based on proven strain gauge technology, and is calibrated as standard in the range 1–25 tonnes, with other ranges available on request.

The transmitter (operating on an unrestricted 2.4GHz waveband), enables accurate load data to be sent to the display, a full colour,TFT touchscreen computer, running the familiar Windows XP and LabVIEW. The display provides real-time measure of the load, while the computer records and processes real-time values.

Sensor Technology’s Tony Ingham explains:“Our main markets are materials handling and warehouse operations, where the intelligence will convert raw data into instant stock counts. We have already had enquiries about raising nuclear fuels rods, monitoring window cleaners’ cradles on high-rise buildings and winching and weighing building materials.”

Theatre stage hands could lift and lower scenery from the wings rather than from a remote control room. Using LoadSense with a tractor-mounted winch, you could assess roadside trees’ susceptibility to wind speed. For applications involving liquid discharge, a system could be configured to monitor and control flow.”

LoadSense could be wirelessly integrated into a SCADA or Manufacturing Enterprise Systems control system, producing instant operating reports and e- mailable customer bills. It also improves operating safety because operators are free to remove themselves from dangerous locations.